HARLEY QUINN / KILL OR BE KILLED / LADY KILLER [Reviews]: Luck Be A Lady…
The first half of longtime Harley writers, Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner‘s Harley Quinn #1 is perfect for anyone who’s introduction to the former Dr. Quinzel was Suicide Squad. It’s an overview of how Harley became Harley — from her time at Arkham, her love affair with the Joker, and her descent into zany madness. It’s a monologue as offbeat as Harley herself, featuring a cavalcade of animals, freak show participants, and characters who have popped up through her New 52 run (All of this while referring to past events that you’d have had to be a long time HQ reader to get…or you’d need to follow the asterisks to previous issues to get the full reference.)
From there, the issue segues into her newest adventure, a strange alien-induced zombie apocalypse featuring the Deadpool-sequel Red Tool. As a long time HQ reader, I don’t know if this is my favorite installment (as much as I love me a zombie apocalypse). The spa day intro with Poison Ivy, the theater “All About Harley” introduction, and the main story don’t seem to flow as easily together as in other stories, but the tainted hot dog zombie storyline is worth tuning in for. 3/5 Bibles.
Most of you know Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips from their work on Criminal, The Fade out, and Sleeper. Brubaker is also know for his epic run on Captain America and Phillips is known for his other work on Hellblazer, Batman, and WildC.A.T.s, oh, just to name a few. Kill Or Be Killed is a story about an ordinary guy named Dylan who’s life is so bad he can’t even commit suicide correctly. He’s in love with his best friend, Kira, who’s dating his roommate, Mason — and basically hates his life. If that wasn’t bad enough, after his second failed suicide attempt, Dylan is visited by a demon who warns him that in return for his second, or maybe even his third chance at life, he will need to kill one person a month as rent on Earth. Reluctantly, Dylan becomes a vigilante who hunts and kills people who deserve to die.
Now, I know what you are thinking; why does he care if the demon kills him? Well, that’s because after his failed suicide Dylan has a change of heart and now thinks life is worth living. Is Dylan out of his mind? Is this all a bad dream or did a demon really save his life and damn him to a life of servitude? Brubaker and Phillips do what they do best here, which is create some dark, compelling, and gritty crime stories that you can’t put down. I like what I’ve read so far and I look forward to seeing how Dylan’s tale unfolds. 3.5/5 God Books.
This comic had some damn good graphics, but not enough to overcome the lack of some depth to the story. Joelle Jones offers some back-story teasers, just not enough for the story to feel filled out. Though lacking, this comic was entertaining because of this secret serial killer character, and the balancing act she is doing as a mother and a wife. 3.5/5 Bibles.